The mystery of world’s tallest abandoned skyscraper that’s still unfinished after 15 years

  • Construction began on the Goldin Finance 117 skyscraper in 2008
  • The skyscraper is staggering 1,957-feet (597 m) tall 
  • Building work ceased in 2015 and is yet to restart

Published on May 29, 2024 at 11:34 AM (UTC+4)
by Claire Reid

Last updated on May 31, 2024 at 7:26 PM (UTC+4)
Edited by Tom Wood

A supertall skyscraper in China remains unfinished and abandoned more than 15 years after work first began.

The Goldin Finance 117 skyscraper was set to be the centerpiece of the Goldin Metropolitan Scheme – a luxury mixed-use development catering to the super-rich – with developers originally planning on a completion date of 2014.

The ‘walking stick’ shaped building was set to be topped with a three-storey diamond-shaped atrium which would have been home to an observation deck, swimming pool, restaurant, and bar. Fancy.

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However, it was hit by several snags along the way – work was paused on the building in 2010 before restarting again the following year, with developers being forced to push back the completion date to 2018/2019.

With work underway again, the skyscraper soon reached a staggering 1,957 feet (597 m) tall and comprised 128-storeys above ground – with 117 of these earmarked for housing, hotels, and commercial use.

But – again – production on its construction was halted following the 2015 Chinese stock market crash and this time it never resumed.

Fast forward to today and the building remains unfinished, empty, and abandoned.

The Goldin Finance 117 building now serves as a bit of a cautionary tale and has the unenviable Guinness World Record for the World’s Tallest Unoccupied Building.

It is also part of the reason Chinese officials decided to ban the construction of buildings over 1,640 feet (500 m). 

Of course, it’s not the only expensive project to go belly-up before even opening its doors. 

North Korea’s 1,080-ft high (330 m) Ryugyong Hotel has been dubbed the ‘Hotel of Doom’ as it lay abandoned and unfinished for years.

Construction on the hotel started back in 1987, with developers sharing big plans for the 105-storey building to become a tourist hot spot, boasting more than 3,000 rooms, restaurants, and other amenities. 

But it wasn’t to be and construction was stopped in 1991, leaving the huge pyramid-shaped eye-sore half-finished. 

In 2008 Egyptian company Orascom decided to finish the cursed building once and for all – but rather than the lofty plans developers once had, the company decided to cover the building in reflective glass panels and add an illuminated top. It’s now mainly used as a massive television.

Much like the Goldin Finance 117 building, there are currently no plans to continue its construction so it seems unlikely that the ‘hotel’ will be welcoming guests any time soon.

# Tags - China, Lifestyle


Claire Reid

Claire Reid is a journalist who hails from the UK but is now living in New Zealand. She began her career after graduating with a degree in Journalism from Liverpool John Moore’s University and has more than a decade of experience, writing for both local newspapers and national news sites. Across her career she's covered a wide variety of topics, including celebrity, cryptocurrency, politics, true crime and just about everything in between.